SK all-stars dominate

Only six days removed from a heartbreaking loss to Woodinville in the 4A state semifinals, eight members of the South Kitsap High School baseball team officially ended their prep season on a winning note.

Representing the American League, the SK players joined players from North Mason, Olympic and Sequim to defeat the National League 8-3 and 8-2 in the Snapple Senior All-Star doubleheader at Bremerton’s American Legion Field Thursday.

The National League included players from Bremerton, Central Kitsap, Gig Harbor, North Kitsap, and Port Angeles.

All-stars were plucked from high schools on the Olympic Peninsula, with 10 of them receiving a nomination to play in the state all-star game in Eastmont.

SK and Port Angeles had the most representation with eight and seven players respectively.

SK showed why it placed fourth in the state tournament.

Of the American League’s 13 hits, 10 belonged to SK players.

Senior Travis Vetters was 4-9 in the doubleheader, with three doubles and a single for three RBI.

Vetters’ hard-hit single to right field could have been scored a triple, but the official scoring was a single and a two-base error.

SK senior Josh Showers — recently named the Narrows League Bridge Divsion MVP — was equally impressive at the plate, going 3-5 including two doubles and three RBI.

Josh Meeker had two singles with a run batted in, and Tyler Mayfield had a single to round up the SK hitting.

Olympic’s Joe Dixon (double, single) and North Mason’s Matt Hultberg (single) were the only other American League players with hits.

Olympic’s Matt White was hitless but did drive in a run on a fielder’s choice.

Dixon managed to get on base in all five plate appearances and scored a pair of runs.

He also earned the win on the mound in the second game.

He gave up one run in four innings of work before giving way to Hultberg for the final four innings.

In the first game, SK’s Dan Knox — who was 9-2 on the year — continued his mastery on the mound.

The crafty lefthander gave up a run on one hit in four innings to earn the win.

Sequim’s Ben Stensland cleaned up the latter four innings with two-hit ball.

Jake Higgs, one of four CK players, was the only Cougar with a hit.

North Kitsap’s Brian Leibold and Brett Shearer each had two hits to lead the National League.

Showers said it was fun to be able to play with a bulk of his teammates one last time under lighter circumstances.

“It was nice to play with these guys one last time, and we won a couple of games,” he said. “This was fun. I made new friends and the guys were great.”

Though SK was recently removed from a loss at state, Showers said it was easy to recover.

“We can adjust to anything,” he said. “I think coach (Elton) Goodwin takes it harder than us because we’re just kids and we shrug it off.”

Goodwin said there’s something special about being a part of the senior all-star game.

“I always enjoy this,” Goodwin said. “It nice to have a low-key game, and the kids are just playing for themselves.”

Low-key is right.

It was a game that saw Boya Quichocho handle the bulk of the catching duties.

While known for his versatility in the field, Boya proved he can play all nine positions.

In the sixth inning of the second game, Quichocho threw out two consecutive runners at third base.

“When I was little I learned to how to play everything,” Quichocho said. “I love playing catcher. I felt like a man behind the plate. It was great throwing those guys out. It was great to come out and kick back. Nothing was on the line. We just had fun.

Other interesting position changes included Knox, who enjoyed a stint at first base, and Meeker, who made his catching debut.

Vetters — a third baseman — also played in the outfield for the first time this year.

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